Blazers Resume C-USA Play At Houston

UABSPORTS.COM Jackie Williams and Nick Adams are hoping for a big offensive day Saturday.
UABSPORTS.COM
Jackie Williams and Nick Adams are hoping for a big offensive day Saturday.
UABSPORTS.COM

Oct. 12, 2012

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala.----- After exploding for 52 points and posting its first victory of the season, the UAB football team gets back to Conference USA play this Saturday as the Blazers travel to face the Houston Cougars in an 11 a.m. CT kickoff.

The contest at Robertson Stadium on the Houston campus will be televised by Fox Sports Net and can be seen on SportSouth in the Birmingham market.

UAB (1-4, 0-1 C-USA) is coming off a 52-3 win over visiting Southeastern Louisiana last Saturday at Legion Field. The Blazers totaled 512 yards to only 125 for the Lions. UAB raced out to a 21-0 lead after one quarter and never looked back in the contest. The 52 points scored by UAB vs. SLU represent the fifth-most points by the Blazers in a game.

The Cougars (2-3, 1-0 C-USA) lost their first three games this season but have bounced back to win their last two, including a 44-21 victory over North Texas in their most recent outing last Saturday. Houston again features one of the nation's most potent offenses.

The Cougars are currently ranked No. 9 nationally in total offense (527.6 yards per games) and are sixth in passing offense (344.4 ypg). Houston is ranked No. 113 in total defense, yielding an average of 487 yards per contest.

UAB has played one of the more difficult schedules in the country to this point of the 2012 season. The Blazers' first five opponents to date have a combined record of 22-7 (Troy - 3-2, South Carolina - 6-0, Ohio State - 6-0, Tulsa 5-1 and Southeastern Louisiana 2-4). South Carolina is ranked No. 3 in the latest AP poll while Ohio State has climbed to No. 8. Tulsa is receiving votes in the AP poll.

UAB at Houston
Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012
11:00 a.m. CT
Robertson Stadium (32,000)

TV:Fox Sports Net - Ron Thulin (play by play), Dave Lapham (color analyst), Desmond Purnell (sidelines)

RADIO:Blazer IMG Sports Network - David Crane (play by play), John Whitcomb (color analyst), Sam Miller (sidelines)

THE COACHES
UAB: Garrick McGee(Oklahoma, '96) is in his first season as the head coach at UAB. McGee was hired last December after four seasons on the staff at Arkansas, the last two as the offensive coordinator. McGee was a finalist for the 2011 Broyles Award that is presented to the nation's top assistant coach. He has also served on the coaching staffs at Northwestern (2004-07), UNLV (2003), Toledo (2002), Jacksonville Jaguars (2000-01), Northern Iowa (1999) and Langston (1996-98).

HOUSTON:Tony Levine (Minnesota, '96) is in his first season as head coach at Houston. Levine assumed the helm of the Cougars' program last December, two weeks prior to their bowl game. Levine has been on the Houston staff since the 2008 season. Levine has also served coaching stints with the NFL's Carolina Panthers, Louisville, Auburn and Texas State.

SERIES HISTORY
• UAB and Houston are meeting for the ninth time when the play Saturday. The series is tied at 4-4. The Cougars have won the past three matchups between the teams, including a 56-13 in Birmingham last season. UAB is 1-2 against the Cougars at Robertson Stadium.

1999: UAB, 29-10 at Birmingham
2001: UAB, 43-21 at Houston
2002: UAB, 51-34 at Birmingham
2003: UH, 56-28 at Houston
2004: UAB, 20-7 at Birmingham
2007: UH, 49-10 at Houston
2008: UH, 45-20 at Houston
2011: UH, 56-13 at Birmingham

QUICK HITS
• UAB returns seven starters on offense and four on defense from last season.
• For only the second time in the past six seasons, UAB will play six home games in 2012.
• The Blazers will have to replace four of five starters on their offensive line from a year ago. Led by first-team all-conference tackle Matt McCants, a sixth-round NFL draft choice of the New York Giants, UAB lost four starters who totaled 136 career starts. Senior Chris Hubbard, a preseason coaches all-conference selection is the lone returning starter among the offensive line.
• The Blazers have four assistant coaches (Jeff Brohm, Jimmy Williams, Richard Owens and Brandon Sharp) who spent time as a player in the National Football League.
• UAB running backs coach and recruiting coordinator is a graduate of the University of Houston and was a four-year member of the Cougars' football team (1995-99).
• The Blazers had 19 players make their collegiate debut in UAB's season opener Sept. 1 versus Troy.

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT
• The 2012 season marks the final year of Robertson Stadium. The 70-year old facility will be torn down following the conclusion of the season. A new on-campus stadium will be built for the 2014 season.
• After an 0-3 start, Houston has won its last two games, defeating Conference USA and crosstown rival Rice and North Texas.
• This is Houston's final year in Conference USA. The Cougars will move to the Big East Conference for the 2013-14 year.
• Since 2006, no team in college football has tallied more yards than Houston (45,198). The Cougars are averaging 527.6 yards through five games in 2012.

LONG SETS UAB RECORD WITH 54-YARD FIELD GOAL
• Sophomore Ty Long set a UAB record for the longest field goal in school history when he connected from 54 yards out in the Blazers 29-15 loss at Ohio State Sept. 22. Long, who also had a 47-yarder in the game, broke the Blazer mark of 52 yards that Swayze Watershad established against Tulsa and Alcorn State in 2007, as well as Kevin Thomason vs. Mississippi Valley State in 1994.

22ND SEASON OF UAB FOOTBALL; 17TH AT I-A LEVEL
• UAB has a young football program compared to most of its opposition. The Blazers went through their first intercollegiate football season in 1991 as a member of NCAA Division III.
• The Blazers moved to Division I-AA two seasons later in 1993, remaining at that level three years before making the transition to Division I-A during 1996 season. • The 2012 season represents the 22nd season of football for UAB.

HUBBARD PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE USA
• UAB senior offensive tackle Chris Hubbard was named to the 2012 Coaches Preseason All-Conference USA team, the league office announced this summer.
• Hubbard, a 6-4, 285-pound senior from Columbus, Ga., is the lone senior and returning starter on the Blazers' offensive line heading into the new season.
• A former C-USA All-Freshman Team selection, Hubbard has had an impact since his true freshman campaign and has played in 28 total games for UAB. He started all 12 contests last season for an O-line unit that was one of the Blazers' biggest strengths.

UAB IN THE LATEST 2012 NCAA STATISTICS
• Here are the latest UAB rankings in the 2012 NCAA statistics for UAB, both in the team categories, as well as individually:

Team Rankings
Rushing Offense 115th, 92.40
Passing Offense 21st, 303.40
Total Offense 74th, 395.80
Scoring Offense 61st, 28.80
Passing Efficiency 37th, 144.59
Rushing Defense 87th, 186.60
Pass Efficiency Defense 70th, 130.05
Pass Defense 29th, 194.20
Total Defense 57th, 380.80
Scoring Defense 99th, 33.80
Net Punting 105th, 34.09
Punt Returns 71st, 7.18
Kickoff Returns 51st, 22.18
Turnover Margin 86th, -40
Sacks Allowed 110th, 3.40

Individual Rankings
Total Offense Jonathan Perry, 85th 188.0
Receiving Yards Per Game Jackie Williams, 47th, 77.80
Patrick Hearn, 100th, 60.25
Receptions Per Game Patrick Hearn, T-77th, 5.00
Jackie Williams, T-90th, 4.80
Punting Hunter Mullins, 44th, 42.32
Passing Efficiency Austin Brown, 24th, 153.57
Jonathan Perry, 55th, 135.31
Field Goals Ty Long, T-29th, 1.40
Scoring Ty Long, T-92nd, 7.20
All-Purpose Runners Jackie Williams, 75th, 112.40
Tackles Marvin Burdette, T-41st, 9.20

LONG MADE 12 CONSECUTIVE FIELD GOALS
• Blazer sophomore kicker Ty Longsaw his streak of 12 straight successful field goals come to an end at Ohio State three weeks ago when he he just missed on a 47-yarder. Long had made three fiekd goals in the game prior to the miss, including a school-record 54-yarder in the second quarter. Long is now 7-of-8 this season and is 23-of-27 overall for his two seasons.

LONG IMPROVES TO 85 PCT. FOR CAREER FGS
• UAB sophomore Ty Longenjoyed one of the top seasons in the country last season among all freshman kickers. He finished with 16-of-19 field goals and was perfect on three-pointers inside 42 yards in 2011. Long began the new season right where he left off and is 3-for-3 in 2012. His career FG accuracy percentage is 85.2 percent (23-for-27).

IRVIN NO. 1 IN NCAA IN 2011 FUMBLE RECOVERIES
• Linebacker Greg Irvin recovered all four fumbles for UAB in the Blazers' 2011 contest at East Carolina, breaking the previous individual school record of two in a single game. They were the first fumble recoveries of Irvin's career. Irvin finished the season with five recoveries and tied for the NCAA lead with Oregon State's Dylan Wynn. Teammate T.J. Balloutied for fourth nationally with four fumble recoveries.

WILLIAMS' RECEPTION TOTAL AMONG TOP 5 IN SCHOOL HISTORY
• WR Jackie Williamsregistered 58 catches last season, the fourth-highest single-season mark in UAB history. Williams caught 58 passes for 607 yards in 2011. With 24 catches this season, he has increased his career reception total to 112 to rank No. 5 on the Blazer career charts. Williams has caught at least one pass in all 28 games he has played in at UAB.

LONG NAMED TO GROZA AWARD WATCH LIST
• UAB sophomore kicker Ty Long was one of 30 players nationally named this summer to the Watch List for the 2012 Lou Groza College Placekicker Award, presented by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
• Long, from Roswell, Ga., connected on 16-of-19 field goals as a true freshman in 2011, including a pair of game-winning field goals (UCF and Southern Miss). He was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team and was also tabbed a third-team Freshman All-American by Phil Steele's College Football Preview.
• Long ranked No. 2 last year among C-USA kickers in FG percentage at 84.2 and was third in field goals made per game (1.33). In addition, he ranked second nationally among freshman in field goals made per game and was third among NCAA freshmen in FG percentage.
• His 72 points scored ranked third in the country among freshman kickers overall and was the second-highest mark among true freshmen. His 16 field goals were the most of any true freshman kicker in the country in 2011.

BURDETTE MOVING UP ALL-TIME TACKLES LIST
• Linebacker Marvin Burdette continues his climb up the UAB career tackles chart after posting 92 as a junior in 2011. Burdette now has 295 tackles in his career to tie for No. 7 on the Blazer list. Burdette registered eight tackles vs. Southeastern Louisiana to move to the No. 3 spot on the Blazer charts. Burdette recorded a season-high 13 tackles against Tulsa Sept. 29. Zac Woodfinholds the school record with 372 tackles recorded from 2001-04.

PAIR OF 100-YARD RECEIVERS FIRST TIME FOR BLAZERS SINCE 2006 SEASON
• When UAB had a pair of receivers with 100-yard receiving games in the season opener vs. Troy, the accomplishment marked the first time since the 2006 season that the Blazers have had two receivers eclipse 100 yards in the same game.
Jackie Williams (157 yards) and Patrick Hearn (108 yards) became the first UAB receiving duo to register more than 100 yards in the same game since the 2006 contest at Rice (34-33 loss) -- a span of 63 games. In that contest, Willie Edwardshad four catches for 112 yards while Stephen Brown had four receptions for 102 yards.

NELSON HAD BREAKOUT GAME VS. TULSA IN 2011
• Blazer wide receiver Jamarcus Nelson had a breakout game against Tulsa in UAB's contest against the Golden Hurricane in 2011. Nelson caught just two passes in the game, but both of them went for long touchdowns. Nelton caught a 66-yarder from QB Bryan Ellis with 1:13 left in the opening quarter and followed that up with a 45-yard touchdown reception soon after at the 14:02 mark of the second quarter.
• Nelson finished the game with 111 receiving yards on his two catches.

NELSON CONTINUES SUCCESS VS. TULSA
Jamarcus Nelson continued his big-play success against Tulsa when UAB took on the Golden Hurricane on Sept. 29 at Legion Field. Nelson had four catches in the game for 146 yards and registered a pair of touchdowns.
• Nelson's two touchdown receptions went for 75 yards (on first play from scrimmage in the game) and 50 yards from quarterback Austin Brown.
• Nelson has seven career touchdown catches and four of them have come against Tulsa, covering distances of 66, 45, 75 and 50 yards.

BLAZERS SUCCESSFUL ON PAIR OF ONSIDE KICKS THIS SEASON
• For the second time in three games this season, the Blazers recovered an onside kick to begin the second half in the Sept. 22 game vs. Ohio State. It also occurred in the season opener vs. Troy (Sept. 1).

LONG PERFECT AT UAB FROM 40 YARDS AND IN
• UAB sophomore kicker Ty Long is now 23-of-27 on field goals during his two-year career with the Blazers. That's an accuracy rate of 85.1 percent. The UAB career record for field goal accuracy is 78.1 percent by Swayze Waters, who hit 50-of-64 three-pointers from 2006-08.
• Long is perfect on field goals from 40 yards and within, hitting all 16 of his attempts through his 17-game UAB career.
• Long is 7-of-8 on field goals this season with four of those coming from 46 yards or longer (46, 47, school record 54 yards and 53 yards).
• The Roswell, Ga. native's four career misses at UAB have come from 41, 46, 47 and 49 yards.
• Long is No. 29 in this week's NCAA statistics among kickers with an average of 1.40 field goals per game.

GANUS MAKING EARLY IMPACT FOR BLAZERS
• UAB true freshman safety Jake Ganushas made a significant early impact for the Blazers. The product of nearby Chelsea, Ala. has started all five games thus far for UAB and is the team's third-leading tackler with 28 stops. In addition, the former high school quarterback registered an interception against South Carolina.

TWELVE DIFFERENT PLAYERS HAVE MADE CATCHES
• The Blazers have had 12 different players register at least one reception through the first five games of the 2011 season.
Jackie Williams leads the way with 24 catches while Patrick Hearnhas 20 grabs thus far for UAB.

BROWN MAKES FIRST CAREER START VS. TULSA
• After playing only sparingly in the first two games of the season, redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Brown has handled the bulk of signal-calling duties for the Blazers since the first quarter of the Ohio State game. He saw three periods of action against Ohio State on Sept. 22, finishing with 196 passing yards as he hit 21-of-35.
• Brown made his first start as a Blazer in the Sept. 29 game against Tulsa and responded with 337 passing yards and three touchdown passes. Brown has hit 69.2 percent of his passes for 603 yards in his two career starts the past two contests.

BLOCKED PUNT FOR TD FIRST SINCE 2003 SEASON
• A first quarter blocked punt by junior Calvin Jones that Nick Adams returned for a touchdown last Saturday at Ohio State was the Blazers' first score off a blocked punt in nine seasons. It marked the first time since Nov. 1, 2003 that the Blazers returned a blocked punt for a touchdown. The last time it happened was when Jhun Cook blocked a punt that was returned by Dominique Cosper against Army.
• UAB came back and blocked another punt (Derek Slaughterblocked the kick) in the first half of the contest vs. Tulsa.

REAVES HAS BIG GAME AGAINST BUCKEYES • Running back Darrin Reaveshas taken on an increased role in the Blazers' running game in the past contests. After rushing for a combined 58 yards on 18 carries in the first two games vs Troy and South Carolina, Reaves has logged 46 rushing attempts and 186 yards in the past three contests. He leads the team in rushing with 244 yards. Reaves also has four rushing touchdowns in the past three games.

BLAZERS WRAP UP TOUGH 2-WEEK STRETCH• Few teams had as tough a two-week stretch as the UAB Blazers had in September. In a span of eight days, the Blazers played road games at then-No. 8 South Carolina and at then-No. 16 Ohio State. Those two games came after UAB opened the season Sept. 1 versus Troy and then had an open date.• South Carolina and Ohio State are a combined 12-0 this season.